tv Democracy Now LINKTV February 21, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PST
02/21/17 02/21/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracacy w! >> and the facts show that donald trump is wrong and his chief economic advisoror is wrog about every major reason that they have given to tear up dodd-frank. commercial and consumer lending is robust. bank profits are at record levels. and our banks are blowing away their global competitors. amy: as donald trump surrounds himself a former goldman sachs
bankers from steve bannon to steve mnuchin, we will look at how his administratation is attempting to roll back dodd-frank and the consumer financial protecection bureau, which was created in response to the economic crisis a decade ago. we will speak with sheelah kolhatkar, author of "blackedge: inside information, dirty money, and the quest to bring downwn te most wanted man on wall street." then donald trump falsely suggest sweden was the scene of recent terror attack. pres. trump: you look at what is happening in germany. you look at what is happening last night in sweden -- sweden. who would believe this?s? sweden? amy: trump's comments have left the country of sweden baffled. the e only recent terror attackn sweden occurred when neo-nazis bombed in asylum center in january. we will go to stockholm for the latest. then to britain where protests
are taking place in the streets and parliament over the british prime minister's invitation to donald trump to make a state visit. >> there is no way this honor should be awarded to someone who has abused women, who has abused members of the muslim fafaith, o has abused migrants. amy: we go to london for the latest. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. "not my president's day" -- that was the rallying cry nationwide as thousands took to the streets of major u.s. cities monday for another mass day of action against president trump. in los angeles, thousands gathered at city hall to protest trump's policies on immigration, trade, and climate change. in portland, oregon, police in riot gear fired pepper spray and arrested 13 people at a protest
outside a federal building. thousands more took to the streets of chicago, philadelphia, miami, atlanta, denver, austin, washington, d.c., as well as many other cities. in new york, protesters filled several blocks along central park outside trump tower, where thousands called for an end to trump's crackdown on immigrants. >> i am here for all immigrants because i am the daughter of a wonderful mexican immigrant who worked really hard with my father to raise my brother and i and make us the great americans that we are. i feel that this country is made up of all immigrants and it belongs to all immigrants. and why they want them out now is beyond me. i just don't understand it. obviously, our president does not understand that, either. amy: monday's "not my president's day" protests cap off a week of mass actions against trump and his policies, which also included nationwide protests by fast-food workers against former labor secretary
nominee andrew poster last monday, a 20,000-plus personon rarally in milwaukee in supporof immigrants and refugees on more than a dozen "dayay without tuesday, immigrant" proteststs nationwide the february 17 thursday, geneneral strike and friday, widespread protests against trump p in major u.s. citieses over the weekend. in britain, thousands of people filled parliament square monday to voice their opposition to president trump, as lawmakers debated whether to cancel his state visit. this is parlrliament memember pa shsheriff. >> does he agree that to use the expression "grab them by the pussy" is sexual assault and therefore he should not be afforded a visit to our clean? >> he entirely agrees. behaviorr, his throughout the election period is one that is worrying. amy: and that's british parliament member paul flynn, agreeing that trump's comments captured in a 2005 nbc "access hollywood" video constitute him bragging about sexual assault.
nearly 2 million brits have signed a petition calling on president trump's official state visit to be canceled, arguing it would cause embarrassment to the queen. we will go to london later in the broadcast. baback in the united states, trp has named general h.r. mcmaster to be general flynn's replacement as national security adviser. pres. trump: so i just wanted to announce -- we have been working all weekend, very diligently, very hard, that general h.r. mcmaster will become the .ational security advisor he is a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience. amy: general mcmaster served in the persian n gulf war, in afghanistan, and in iraq. he's well-known for his 1977 book "dereliction of duty," in which he criticizes vietnam-era generals for not challenging president lyndon johnson and defense secretary robert mcnamara over their failing -- over there strategies. mcmaster recently argued for an expansion of the u.s. army,
claiming in a 2016 testimony to a senate armed services subcommittee that the army "risks being too small to secure the nation." ththis recommendndation dovetais with trump's vows to increase the number of active-duty u.s. soldiers by tens of thousands. trump's choice continues his reliance on military generals for top positions, which also include general kelly as head of the department of homeland security, and general mattis as defense secretary. president trump is doubling down on his false claim that sweden is struggling with immigration-related security problems after he faced widespread criticism and ridicule for appearing to invent a terrorist attack in sweden, while speaking at a 2020 campaign rally in melbourne, florida on saturday. bottomtrump: here's the line. we have to keep our country safe. you look at what is happening. we have to keep our country safe.
you look at what is happening in germany. you look at what is happening last night in sweden. sweden. who would believe this, sweden? amy: former swedish prime minister carl bildt responded to trump's claim by tweeting "sweden? terror attack? what has he been smoking? questions abound." trump later said his comment was in response e to a fox news stsy he'd watched the night before about alleged refugee-related crime. sweden's crime rate has fallen over the last decade, even as it has accepted hundreds of thousands of refugees, including people from syria. on monday, trump tweeted -- "give the public a break - the fake news media is trying to say that large scale immigration in sweden is working out just beautifully. not!" swedish prime minister stefan lofven responded to trump's claims by highlighting that many things in sweden are, in fact, working very well. >> do not forget in
international rankings in issues such as equality, human development, competitiveness, we, like our guest today from canada, are doing very well. amy: we will go to sweden for more on this story later i in te broaoadcast. 11 jewish community centers across the country were hit by another wave of bomb threats on monday. it was the fourth wave of nationwide bomb threats against jcc's in five weeks. in total, 69 reported threats have been reported against 54 jewish community centers. meananwhile, a at a cemetetery n university c city missouri, thee gravesitites of more than 100 js were vandalized over the weekekend. paul goldenberg of the secure community network said -- "i've been in the business for 20-plus years, and this is unprecedented." on monday, president trump's daughter ivanka tweeted -- "america is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. we must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #jcc." in response, new york congngressman jerrold nadler tweeted -- "very nice, but this should be coming from your father.
@realdonaldtrump must directly condemn anti-semitism and all those who esespouse it."." this is congressman nadler speaking on cnn this morning. >> maybe he doesn't want to denounce his own supporters because some of his own supporters are responsible for this and certainly the all right, breitbart news was a fountainhead of white nationalism which includes anti-semitism and anti-black bigotry. amy: but instead of stickiking out, presidedent trump chastisea jewish reporter was one of nadler's constituentnts durining trump's news conference and told him to sit down o on thursday wh a reporter asked about the bomb threats. >> the bomb threats have been made against jewish centers for the past couple of weeks. there are people committing anti-semitic acts or threatening -- >> he said he was going to ask a simple, easy question. and it is not. not a civil question. not a fair question. sit down.
herere's the story, folks. number one, i am the least anti-s-semitic person that you have ever r seen in your entire life. amy: in honduras, an indigenous leader has been assassinated by armed gunmen in his home north of the capital. santos sevilla was the leader of the indigenous tolupan people, who are fighting to protect their ancestral lands from industrial mining and logging projects. in 2015, the united nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples warned of rampant violence against tolupan organizers, including assassinations, as well as state impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes. santos sevilla's assassination comes only weeks before the anniversary of the assassination of the honduran indigenous environment a leader -- enenvironmental leader r berta caceres, who was killed by armed gunmen in her home on march 2, as she was leading a struggle against hydro-electric dams threatening the ancestral land of the lenca people. ecuador is likely headed for a
run-off vote in its presidential election as front-running candidate lenin moreno appears to have narrowly failed to capture 40% of the vote. moreno served as vice president to outgoing president rafael correa. with nearly 90% of the votes counted, he's leading his rightwing rival, former banker guillermo lasso, 39% to 28%. ecuador's election is seen as an indication of whether latin america's left-leaning pink tide is over as argentina, brazil, , and uruguay have all seen right-wing administrations rise to power in recent years. lasso has that if you were elelected, he would throwow wikileaks founder julian assange out of the ecuadorian embassy in london. the ununited nati's childrdren's agency, , unicef, is warning as many as 1.4 million children could die this year from famine in nigeria, somalia, south sudan, and yemen. on monday, famine was declared across parts of south sudan, amidst an ongoing civil war that has led to a near collapse of the economomy. in somomalia, the n.n. says drought t has put 185,000 childn
at risisk of famine. in yemen, the u.s.-backed saudi-leled airstrikes and blockade have led to widespread food andnd water shortages. in nigeria, the u.n. says more than 200,000 children are severely malnourished. russia's ambassador to the united nations vitaly churkin died unexpectedly on monday after collapsing at his desk at the russian consulate in new york city. he died one day before his 65th birthday. the new york city medical examiner's office is investigatg g the death. in north dakota, water protectors at the oceti sakowin resistance camp are facing an evacuation deadline wednesday, as the fight continues against the $3.8 billion dakota access pipeline. north dakota governor doug burgum ordered the evacucuation. water protectors are currently cleaning up the camp ahead of the anticipated flooding of the area. some water protectors are asking for more time to continue the clean up. uber has hired the former u.s.
attorney general eric holder as the company faces allegations of sexual harassment after an engineer went public with claims . she wrote about how she was propositioned for sex by a male colleague on her very first day working with a new team at uber. she says her report of the incident and multiple others were ignored by the human resources department. white nationalist milo yiannopoulos is facing widespread backlash after he appeared to endorse pedophilia, leading to the cancellation of upcoming speaking gigs, as well as the publication of his book. in his comments, yiannopolos discredits age of consent laws and said relationships "between younger boys and older men can be h hugely positive expererien" simon & schuster said monday it had canceled the publication of milo yiannopoulos' book "dangerous." the american conservative union has rescinded an invitation to speak at its upcoming annual conference. yiannopoulos also faced widespread oppositioion during s recentnt speaking tour at u.s. universities, where e students
wewere opposeded to his s long y ofof making racist, sesexist and xenophobic statements. at least t two university y of california campuses were forced to cancel his speaking events amid widespread protests. marilyn young has died at the age of 79. she taught at new york university for 35 years, and was a pioneering historian of u.s. foreign relations. she was the author of "the vietnam wars, 1945-1990" one of the most important books on the vietnam war. she was also the editor of countless other books on u.s. militarism, war, and human rights. young was also a lifelong antiwar activist and a founding member of the society of concerned asia scholars. in one her last essays she wrote that it is her work as a historian "to speak and write so that a time of war not be mistaken for peacetime, nor waging war for making peace." marilyn young repeatedly appeared on democracy now! over the years, including in 2009, when i asked her about the
legacy of defense secretary robert mcnamara, who served under presidents kennedy and johnson and played a critical role in escalating the u.s. war in vietnam. he almost comes to terms, then he runs away from coming to terms. he does the same thing, i think, in fog of war. he did that same thing for the whole of the rest of his life. an approach to what he is really bebeen responsible f for and tha bouncing nooff. it happens over and over again. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. as the trump administration enters it second month, republican lawmakers have begun a legislative attack on the consumer financial protectctn bureau, which was created in response to the economic crisis nearly a decade ago. the bureau was created under the dodd-frank legislation which is
also coming under attack by republican lawmakers and the white house. last week, president donald trump signeded an execututive or to repeal a dodd-frank anti-corruption measure requiring oil and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments. he has also vowed to chip away at other parts of the legislation. saider in the month, trumpp jp morgan ceo jamie dimon was giviving him advice on whahat to wiwith dodd-frank. pres. trump: some of the bankers here. there's nobody better to tell me about dodd-f-frank t than jamie. we expect to be cutting a lot out of dodd-frank. frankly, as so many people that have nice businesses that cannot borrow money. they cannot get any money because the banknks won't let tm borrow because of the rules and regulations in dodd-frank. amy: one of president trump's fiercest critics has been massachusetts senator elizabeth warren who has spoken out , against trump's efforts to dismantle dodd-frank. financial crisis
cost millions of people their jobs, their homes, andnd their savings. in response, congress passed the bipartisan dodd frank act, which aimed to prevent big banks from blowing up the economy a again. now, president trurump has calld dodd-frank a "disaster" and vowed to "dismantle" it. he started down that road two weeks ago when he issued an executive order on financial regulation. he has put steve mnuchin and gary cohn, who have spent a combineded 42 years at goldman sachs, in charge o of rewriting the rules to helelp big banks le goldman. aamy: to talk more a about whata rollback of dodd frank and the consumer financial protection bureau would mean for consumers, we are joined by sheelah kolhatkar, a former hedge fund analyst who is now a staff writer at the "new yorker." she is the author of the new
book "black edge: inside information, dirty money, and the quest to bring down the most wanted man on wall street." which we will also talk about. sheelah kolhatkar, welcome to democracy now! , the talk about dodd-frank people, the bankers that president trump is surrounding himself by -- which might surprise many of his supporters because he had decried goldman sachs and the very banks that he is now deeply involved with. can you talk about dodd frank? >> dodd-frank was the major legislation passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. long.over 1000 pages it has many critics. there are flaws. however, many people, including elizabeth warren, agree it has made the system safer. it is required banks to keep more capital on hand, meaning that a larger cushion in case they encounter some kind of problem. this was a big issue in 2008.
it has pushed the banks to stop doing proprietary trading. it is basically a form of gambling, depending on who you ask, with their own money. these are taxpayer backed stopped banks. many people believe banks should be focused on their stated purpose. their purpose in the economy is to take capital that people have to invest and channel it to businesses through loans, through ipos. i mean, they are the engine of the economy. businesses cannot grow without access to capital, which banks are supposed to provide. what we have seen is banks have become more focused on speculative trading to make money. this has been a very profitable strategy. although, when it does w work ot well, he can blow economy as we saw. really, this legislation n was intended to reorient them to the purpose of our economy.
of the big complaints of banks, as i understand it, is the requirements now that they not be as leveraged, that they have more assets on hand in case the loans go bad. and also, the impact of the financial protection agency that was developed in terms of the limitations on how they can abuse consumers. i am wondering now how your sing the trump administration moving in these areas? >> the banks and the financial lobby have been screaming and protesting these new rules all the way along. as result the imimplementation f dodd-frank happened over a period of years. there was an intense trying out of every little thing. now we have a stunning reversal with the new administration in washington. as you mentioned, president trump campaigned -- it's at least sounded like he was campaigning against wall street. he screamed about bankers all the time and the system being rigged. he criticized hillary clinton
for giving speeches to goldman sachs. there is a lot of confusion because there are so many mixed messages coming out of this administration and we're trying to figure out his plans. he has basically installed a handful of not quite the same wealthy wall street financiers we assume before, but people incredibly well-off, wall street experts who have spent their entire careers in hedge funds, and private equity, big investment banks -- they are the ones advising him on what to do. it is hard to believe those people are going to be reflecting the interests of many of the voters who put trump into this position in the first place. amy: white house press secretary sean spicer described the consumerer financicial protectin bureau as an unconstitutional agency. act is areight disastrous policy that is in ring our m markets. reducing the availability of credit and crippling our economy's ability to grow and
create jobs. it opposed hundreds of new on financial institutions while establishing unaccountable and unconstitutional new agency y tt does not adequate protect consumers. amy cozad is sean spicer. your response? mentition the wells fargo scandal. that was a case where enormous bank, wells fargo, was found to have been pushing its employees and not monitoring them to the point where they were opening up accounts for customers, that those customers had not asked for. this caused widespread damage. it damaged people's credit ratings. they were charged fees. the cfp be is the one who brought that to light. ituess my question would be, is fine to criticize it, but what is your alternative option? republicans have in finding and trying to water down the powers
of his agency since it came into being. it is one thing to say you want to get rid of it, but i would really like to hear what their alternative plan is because we need to know those details. juan: i want to go back to elizabeth warren speaking last week. especially on something as important as the rules in place to stop another financial crisis, we need to start with facts. real facts, not thosose alternative facts the administration has become known for.r. donald trump is wrongng in his chief economic advisisor is wrog about every major reason they have g given to tear up dododd-k . commmmercial and consumer lendig is robust will stop the profits are at record levels. and our banks are blowing away the global competitors. so, why go after banking regulations? the president and the team of
goldman sachshs bankers that he has put in charge of the economy want to scrap the rules so they can go bacack to the good d olds when bankers could take huge risks and get huge bonuses if they got lucky, knowing they could get taxpayer bailouts if there are vets did not pay off. we did this kind of regulation before and it resulted in the worst financial crisis since the great depreression will stop we cannot afford to go down this road again. juan: that was senator elizabeth warren last week. what about this issue of why the banks one so badly to get rid of these regulations? also, the tighter the subject of your book, which is hehedge funs and the involvement of banks with hedge funds? >> so the period i really described in this book -- it was like a flowering of insider trading in the hedge fund world that the government kind of crackdown on.
a lot of that took root from the 2008, 2009, 2010. put it in context. a lot of this crime i write about happened at the same period of time when the housing bubble inflated that literally blew up and lead to the financial crisis, and this coincided with a period of serious deregulation in washington. in fact, during many of those key years, the head of the fcc, which is responsible for policing the market and making sure it is fair for everyone, he did not believe in regulation. the chairman, christopher cox, essentially said markets can regulate themselves. he discouraged attorneys for bringing enforcement actions against people on wall street. they were discouraged from even interviewing prominent financiers. look what happened at the end of it. we had this huge blowup of crime
and fraud. i would argue that we are still paying the price for that. the dynamic that was created at that moment led to widening income inequality, and i think that has could treated to the situation we're in now. amy: we're going to talk more about your book after the break. sheelah kolhatkar is a staff writer at "the new yorker." her book is remarkable. it is hard to put down. "blackedge: inside information, dirty money and the quest to bring down the most wanted man on wall street." afterr t that, we will go to stockholm and see what happened last time. and then, new england. where almost 2 million people have signed a petition to stop the state visit from president trump. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: the swedish band. we will be going to stalk him in a moment. first, we continue with sheelah kolhatkar, staff writer at "new yorker" and author of "blackedge: inside information, dirty money and the quest to bring down the most wanted man on wall street." explain the e term "blackedge." >> it is important to understand that hedge funds are driven by information. if you are trading in the stock market each day on kind of a short-term, speculative basis, the better the information is that you have, the more money you are going to make. that is the general philosophy. everyone is trying to get good, usable information. inside the hedge fund i write about a lot in this book, they had different categories of information. was a white edge, which is publicly available information that anyone can get like an section that is in
trading. there is great edge, which is -- in the gray zone, it might be something that an executive company told you but it was not entirely clear what they meant. you're not quite sure. you might have to talk to her legal counsel before you can trade on that information. then there is blackedge, which is clearly material, nonpublic information inside information -- for example, access to confidential drug trial results .efore they are released and a person could make a lot of money trading on that kind of information. juan: one of the fascinating things about your book is the evolutionscribe the of the hedge fund world from, basically, a strategy of investments to, in essence, totally unregulated gambling, sort of like a a dark world of wall street in general where anything goes and where illegal insider information n became suh a valuable commodity in that
world. >> there are thousands of hedge funds now and they all do different things. some of them are fine and some of them are not so fine. the whole idea of a hedge fund began decades ago. the idea was that you could create an investment fund or you could hedge your investments. if you want long certain stocks coming good short other stocks -- which means you're betting the price would go down. that would offset your losses if the market went down. bets.e hedging your this was attractive to wealthy investors. regulators decided if only wealthy investors were using these funds, they would give them more latitude to take risk in the market. they can borrow more money so they could do this shorting. thing.ted off as s a niche it was so successful. many of the people running these funds became so wealthy -- i mean, the dollars at early ages. juan: stephen cohen was reporting 30% returns every year. >> he was, year after year.
his hehedge fund posted 30%, 70% in early days, one hundred percent. investors were fighting to get in. by the time the events i write about in the book come to a head, he had only had one down year, which was 2008. amy: you spent hundreds of pages that were hard not to read, to say the least. telling us the story of set n stephen cohen. >> ultimately, the fbi decided they're going to try to crack down on the hedge fund industry in a cap hearing the name as a see all of the name from different informants than on wiretaps. they started to look into it. over a period of several years, they used the same techniques they used to investigate the mob . they ended up charging a handful of people who worked at as they see --sac. cohn.tephen a
>> very powerful force in the market. ultimately, the government had to make a decision about whether they were going to charge cohn himself. this is where he become sort of the man of our time because there was a huge debate was that the press was watching. a lot of anticipation is this possibly street titans face gel time. any go unlike the time who steals $10. >> there was a huge debate about this. everyone was waiting to see in the government ultimately decided they did not have the evidence they needed to definitively prove that steve cohen do this illegal activity was taking place. that is true, they do not have a witness. they do not have a wiretap. they did not have anything that definitely showed stephen cohen knew what was going on, even of circumstantial evidence looked quite bad. they ended up charging the company instead, sac capital, and mr. cohen ended up paying
almost $2 billion in fines and the hedge fund was shut down. he can return to the industry in 2018 will stop i would argue that this story is important for everyone because we all have money in the stock market now. americans have largely been pushed to put their retirement savings in the stock market. what you see through this story is there are two markets. juan: is the moral of the story then, unlike a previous era when others were convicted that the biggest of these wall street giants now have figured out a way to get around the law? >> after the financial crisis, the same thing happened. we did not see any senior-level bankers even facing the possibility of going to jail. they largely resolved the criminal activity from that scandal through fines. i think this has caused a lot of frustration for the american public -- amy: clearly, steve cohen's lawyers were very good.
kevin o'connor, it was reported by bloomberg in november, the general counsel for stephen cohen's investment firm, oversaw the staff picks for the justice department is a member of president donald trumps transition team, according to h chart named by bloomberg. >> i thought that was just about perfect based on the way things are going. isn't it beorted -- for only a brief time but yes, it does appear that people from cohen' worlds and his industry have moved into washington and they are directing economic policy and regulatory policy. this is something we all need to be concerned about. i don't think it is going to resolve the frustrations of the voters who put trump in that position. amy: do you think donald trump will ever release his tax returns? >> it doesn't look like it. i think it is a scandal. toan't believe he hasn't hahad
do it. but look at where he has gotten without releasing them. i don't see any incentive for them to do so now, frankly. juan: and his claim that the american people don't care about this? whobviously, it depends on you ask. a lot of people do care. that kind of trtransparency is important. it is a problem we do not know as a people who our president is financially beholden to. ultimately, most stories, i think, in washington come down to money. we do not know where the money trail goes. we should have that information. it is very upsetting we don't. a makeup i hear there are plans for an april 15 from taxes march wawashington. sheelah kolhatkar, thank you for being with us, staff writer at the new yorker and the author of "blackedge: inside information, dirty money and the quest to bring down the most wanted man on wall ststreet." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: president trump is doubling down on his false claim
that sweden is strugglingng with immigratation related sececure o problemsms after he faced wiwidespread criticism and ridicule for appearing to invent a terrorist attack in sweden while speaking at a campaign rally in melbourne, florida, on saturday. pres. trump: here's the bottom line. we have to keep our country safe. you look at what is happening. we have got to keep our country safe. you look at what is happening in germany. you look at what is happening last night in sweden. sweden. who would believe this, sweden? they took in large numbers. they're having problems i can never thought possible. juan: former swedish prime minister kerr built responded to trump's claim i tweeting --
trump later said his comment was in response to a fox news story he had watched the night before about alleged refugee related crime. sweden's crime rate has fallen over the last decade, even as it has accepted hundreds of thousands of refugees including , , from syria. president trump tweeted -- "give the public a break -- the fake news media is trying to say that lararge scale immigration n sweden is working out just beautifully. not!" the swedish prime minister responded to trump's claims to highlighting many things in sweden are in fact working very well. >> it is up to the president to decide what he wants to say. i can only say the world economic forum states was sweden beats countries of just about everything. reports that we have a very inong economic development terms of the for example, gdp
per capita. european commission states sweden is europe's most innovative country, global innovation index says sweden is number two. so we have some very strong also that shows sweden is handling the situation -- but as i said, yes, we have challenges like allll other countries. there is no doubt we have a situation in the world with 65 million people fleeing their country's last year or the your before that. 65 million. so that is for us together. amy: there i is been one recent terror a attack in s sweden, the neo-nazis attackeked and asylum center in january with homemade bombs. one person was sereriously injured. accordrding to the independent, the suspects were members of the nordic resistance movement, which opposes nonwhite immigration to sweden. for more wee are to stockholm where we're joined by mattias gardell professor of comparative , religion and head of the center for multidisciplinary studies and racism at uppsala
university in swedenen. we welcome you, professor to , democracy now! talk about what you started to hear on sasaturday night when prpresidentt trump, and his campaign rally for 2020, top about what happened -- talked about what happened in sweden "last night." well, is absolutely amazing that the president could be that far from reality will stop mr. trump, had it not had such dark consequences for the u.s. population, possibly the world, it would have been entertaining. ast night it did have suspected terrorist attack. it was mostly an association house that was burned down. possibly by people connected to the anti-muslim neofascist seen come a similar to the ones
before with the bombing attacks suspected to be made by the national nordic resistance movement. they're all jubilant because they see mr. trump as their man. place, you know, it does not really happen that much. it is quite quiet. in terrorism has skyrocketed 2015 and 2016. last year alone, it was 92 suspected attacks. but they were all against asylum-seekers, refugees, and probably made by the same that supportsa trump. juan: what about the overall crimime situation in the countr, the critics of sweden's asylum policy say that crime has been rising as a result of its welcoming so many foreign asylum-seekers and refugees into
the country. another realization of alternative facts. for a decade or more, crime rates,s, especiallyy violent cre rates, have been going down. byyou judge by or compare per capita, the united states has five times as much murders as sweden. so it is not true. to: and can you respond president -- well, let me ask you this. i want to turn to an interview from fox news ticker carlson that might have precipitated donald trump's comments. carlson interviewed right-wing filmmaker ami horowitz about his documentary on refugee violence in sweden. carlson asked horowitz about the long-term effects of sweden's
open door policy toward asylum seekers. >> we don't have to prognosticate with a long game is. you can look france and belgium because they have been doing it for that period -- for longer. you can see the social unrest, the terrorism happening there. sweden is a relatively new policy for them -- by the way, sweden had its first terrorist islamic attack. they're getting a taste of what we have in singapore is europe already. amy: that was the, station that took place friday night. saturday night, donald trump topped about --talked about terrorist attacks and refer to sweden and said, we all know what happened last night. when this would us it was asked for clarification in washington, he said he had watched television the night before. i guess that is what happened last night. i guess -- the responsive that, but also the uptake in hate crimes and terror attacks in sweden that are actually being
committed. i don't think this is what donald t trump was beieing refed to -- i neo-nazis.s. >> that is true. there are some new mistakes and that right-wing anti-muslim film maker so-called documentary. a provocation of alternative facts. one of the problems is that we have sealed our borders and preventing people seeking refuge in seeking asylum for coming into the country and we all know what that has on human life. to the rights of the very militant anti-muslim neo-nazi or fascist movement, that is subject of great concern
in sweden. we have put a fascist party elected into parliament. that now according to surveys, is the second-largest party. this has not happened before in swedish history. behind them is this whole industry of social media that also informs president trump. so it is of great concern to us now. you can see that fascism is returning with a vengeance to europe, may be dressed in a way that we do not necessarily recognize it as fascism because we have had this hollywood stereotyping of national socialism or fascism that we expect fascism to be the only ideology that doesn't change. we don't recognize people as fascist if they do not come dressed as the second world war two. that is of great concern.
this is not only happening in sweden, it is all over europe. and maybe we will have a new access forming with this strong populist, ultranationalist white putin, or the czech republic -- let sesee what is going to happen in france. the same kind of movement is also gaining strength in sweden. it is quite deadly. -- and a veryat -- and a precarious time in sweden. we now live 25 years into the experiment of neoliberalism that really undermine the so-called swedish model and transformed sweden into a society that is the greatest levels of segregation. the difference between the classes and the whole ecd region. lots of people in sweden are
concerned now about theirir fute and the future of theirr kids. the fascism, as we know, is not a right-wing extremism as much thet is in extremism of center. it comes from the people who claim we belong to those of this country and now we cannot afford to accept more people. and they all built on alternative facts. we all know in terms of gnp, sweden has benefited from accepting more people coming in. simple economy. if the country grows larger, more people live here, the economy will also get a boost. but fascism is not only spreading its agenda with references to empirical facts, but it also has a very strong affective dimension. this sort of dimension today formulated by the ultranationalists, the sort of
fascist vision. you see the same phenomenon in the u.s. there are all interconnected -- they are all connected. this is of great concern at the moment. juan: professor, in terms of -- you mention the economic problems that have created the basis for the rise of fascism. what about the issue of race as sweden, like many other european countries, as become more multiracial than it was in the past. how has that affected the rise of fascist tendencies within the country? >> could you please repeat the question? juan: i said what about the issue of race and the rise of racism in terms of the rise of fascism in sweden as the country, like many other european countries, has become more multiracial than it was in the past? that is true, but it is also
true that sweden has never been on margin is nation. we have had national minorities here for half a millennium. so the image of homogenous sweden does not really exist. but it is true now that racism has risen and become normalized, if you look at structured racism, for example, it is very easy to see from research that if you have a muslim name, you'll have just much harder to try to get a job. structure racism is strong. also the movements now that has gained from the global spread of anti-muslim rhetoric that started actually already at the fall of the wall and gained a
breakthrough with 9/11 has just continued to gain momentum. you to thisowed industry of alternative facts. amy: professor, thank you for being with us. professor mattias gardell is a professor of comparative religion and leads the center for multidisciplinary studies and raracism at uppsala universy in sweden. this is democracy now! when we come back, we had to london where massive protest have been taking place. more than two may people have calleded for the visit president trump to be canceled. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: nearly 2 million brits have signed a petition calling on president trump's official state visit to be canceled. on monday, thousands of protesters gathered outside for limit in london as british lawmakers debated whether to deny trump a formal state visit. inside parliament, mps debated for three hours. this is labor mp -- has beene seen chilling. the executive orders have dominated donald trump's first
weeks in the white house have been frightening. the question many of us are asking, where this a slippery slope lead? if we take only one other groups of people here sought to divide, both of the muslim faith, not necessarily distinct to one country or another, his rhetoric has been so broad that even i personally as a muslim feel attacked and misrepresented. and no doubt, many of my constituents to make wonderful contributions to this country on a daily basis feel the same way. we have to take every opportunity to show his negativity and divisive messages are not going to divide us. just as importantly, we cannot let them divide us. the tory mp said he supported the state visit in hopes the united kingdom can influence donald trump as he referred to as " "inexperienced individual." >> what complaint to the
? >>rable jim and make suddenly, we cannot imitate the errors of the past.. which is that an example by making sure we don't make those mistakes again. amy: for more we're going to london where we're joined by asad rehman of friends of theirs international who spoke at the protest outside parliament yesterday. thank you for being w with us again. we usually speak to you at the human climate summit the wherever it is happening in the world. talk about what is happening right now and what you think is going to happen with this state visit of p president trump. bothpresident trump's various executive orders targeteting muslim m -- with the muslim ban and his outrageous comments against women and migrant communities, the normalizing ofof a reallyly -- bigogotry andnd xenophobia, a le
number of british people, and i think right across the political spectrum, find it absolutely horrible that this government should roll out a red carpet for president trump. the state visit is an honor that is bestowed by the u.k. government. it is not something that happens automatically. nearly two lead people signed a petition asking the government to withdraw its offer of a state visit. hundreds of thousands of people have been mobilizing on the streets. in fact, yesterday, there was the fourth big mobilization to send a message to this government that they should listen to the british people. and there has already been a commitment that if donald trump steps inside this country, and when he does, that there will be a huge mobilization. we intend to put millions of people on the street. not only to oppose donald trump and his agenda, but the hold up a mirror about what is happening both in the u.k. and across europe. listening to your previous guest
talking about the normalization of racism and attacks on migrants and refugees, , talking about how we are slowly moving into a space for the far right and extreme right wing parties are dominating our political space, and how we have to bebe able to oppose that and actively oppose that. to do that, we need to build a movement. one that is much more inclusive and brings together different spectrum of views in organizations. that is why at friends of the earth, we are one of the organizers of the stop trump coalition. we need to bring together organizations, organizing these huge protests taking place because we think this struggle for climate justice and climate refugees is a struggle for justice and the same struggle against whether we're talking against sexism, sexist violence, racism, or bigotry. abouti want to ask you theresa may, the prime minister,
who is honestly extending her .and to trump and her r relationship, herr reaction to what has happened here and of course, famously, when she did visit washington, trump tried to grara her hand as there are walking into the white house and she pulled back. >> i think that will live on in most peoeople's minds and sororf sums up the picture of that relationship. many people felt that, of course, we're in a prospective world. the u.k. has voted in the referendum last your to leave the european union. there's a great deal of uncertainty as to what that means. many people are arguing for a hard brexit, which can lead to real crisis in terms of our economy and jobs and of course the issue of migration has been played very much by some forces to justify a vote to leave the eueuropean union. all of t those things means this govevernment is basically willig
to a accept anything from the u. administration. and that is part of what i think has angegered 70 people. what the u.k. is h hoping for ry causing -- by accepting the kind ofof use that he is espousing,, that somehow wewe will mananageo get t a trade deal. unfortunately, we knknow what kd of trade d deal that will be. it will l be that we have givenp our rirights, given up decency, what havee accepted this agenda of hatred. in return, w w would have a trae deal of deregulation, of weakenening labor laws, and garment rejection. we w would had to give up our controlsls arod our food, our health.. and all of those things i think are unacceptptable. all of thahat is parart of the agenda of actually making theresa may -- take a step back and think about rolling out this red carbon. amy: we want to go back to monday's parliamentary debate on
whether the state visit of donald trump should be canceled. the, changemp said denials alone should disqualify him from being invited. onlyny have raised not trump misogyny and racism, but his contempt for basic climate science. with the honorable member agree that have a state visit for someone who is shown such -- is another reason to say he should not be coming here? amy: that was inside parliament as thousanands were outside. what is coming u up this vote ad what wilill actually h happen? >> the v vote is not a binding vote. i think it was s very clear f fm ththe speakers whwho spoke in parlrliament yesterday, the numr of people who contacted theirr members of parliament that t e overwhelming majority memberss f parliaiament also oppose the ste visit of donald trump. we havave heard unprerecedentedt the speakeker of thehe house, wt of t the most powerful positions
in the houousef f commons, h hif has said he thinks it is absolutely inappropriate that if donald trump comes on a state visit that he should be allowed the honor of speaking in parliament to our parliament, but the house of commons and house of lords. this is an incredible rejection of donald trump and his agenda. we heard it last night and we heard it from across the political spectrum. it is now up to the government to listen to those voices. we have been here in the past where we have other prime minister's willing to accept an american agenda, and that led us into a disastrous war. too many people marched on the streets. that prime minister's reputation is in tatters now. i think there is a stark warning to theresa may that cozying up to donald trump could end up with her and her reputation being in similar tatters. amy: we want to thank you for being with us, asad rehman spokesperson for friends of the , earth international.